8 Things To Do If You Feel Life Is Disappointing

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If you’re like most people walking around on the planet right now, you’ve probably experienced some disappointment and disillusionment with life.

Sure, we don’t always get what we want, but some circumstances are significantly more frustrating and harrowing than others.

Someone who has a lot of ambition and energy might feel stuck and disappointed where, in the modern day, their every effort can be stymied. They have so much to offer the world, but circumstances seem to conspire to flatten them. Despite having great skill sets, they don’t have opportunities for fulfilling work, healthy relationships, or even a home that suits their needs.

If you’re feeling this way, how can you break free from the swamp of sadness that you feel like your drowning in?

And furthermore, how do you take steps to live a life that you feel you deserve?

1. Determine what you need in order to be happy and fulfilled.

If you’re feeling disappointed by life, it’s imperative that you determine why you’re feeling disappointed. Basically, you need to sort out what your expectations are.

Let’s say you expected a calm, peaceful life because that’s what your parents had. They might have had their college or university education paid for by their folks or grandparents (or government!), got a job right after school, bought a house easily, and started a family before they were 30. If this kind of life appeals to you, then you might feel incredibly frustrated that you don’t live in the same circumstances now.

Life is a lot different now than it was a few decades ago. You now have thousands of people competing for jobs instead of a couple hundred. Real estate is so expensive that you practically have to sell some internal organs to be able to buy a house. And how can you even think about having kids when you and your partner are working two jobs just to make ends meet?

Thing is, you’d be amazed to find out just what you can attain if you rearrange your expectations and circumstances a little bit.

2. Are your expectations unrealistic or lacking focus? Then redirect them.

My partner’s cousin wanted to be a singer, actress, and dancer when she was a kid. Of course, having absolutely no talents in singing, acting, or dancing should have put an end to all that pretty early on. But she was determined.

She spent over 20 years auditioning for various roles and being turned down. On the rare occasion when she got a role in something, she ended up getting terrible reviews. Friends and family members tried to be encouraging, but everyone knew that this was never going to work out. Nothing daunted her, however, until she was sat down by a no-nonsense talent agent who told her in no uncertain terms to stop wasting everyone’s time.

That put her into a pretty severe depression when she was in her late 30s since she had to face the reality that she was never going to achieve the dreams and expectations that she had when she was younger. While some people end up proving everyone wrong and succeeding in their dreams despite naysayers, this isn’t the case here. She had to accept the disappointment and reality that life was never going to play out the way she wanted it to.

Her therapist asked her why she had wanted to be an actress so badly, and she said it was because she liked to entertain people by bringing stories to life. So they asked her if that was the only way she could do that, and it was like something flipped around inside her.

She really loved to tell stories! Furthermore, she loved to craft tales for her own kids, nieces, and nephews. So she redirected her energies towards writing children’s stories, and teamed up with an illustrator to create some kids’ books. While she isn’t a world-renowned author, she has had a fair amount of success with her children’s literature, all within a year or two of shifting her focus in this direction.

Therein lies the key to greater fulfillment: aim to discover the root of what it is you want to do, and then determine all the different ways you could make that a reality. Use what’s available to you, from your unique skill sets to the space and resources around you, and you’ll be amazed at what you can achieve.

3. Focus on the abundance you have in this moment, rather than lack.

We could all write massive lists about all the things we feel are lacking in our lives right now. Your phone might be cracked, your clothes fell out of style a few years ago, there’s only a tin of baked beans and some crisps in the cupboard, maybe you haven’t gotten laid in a month.

Okay, so turn it around and look at the positives there.

Your phone may be cracked, but it’s functional. You have clothes that are keeping you warm and dry, you’ll be able to eat tonight, and you don’t have to worry about having an STI.

A shift in perspective can do a lot as far as bumping you out of a negative rut is involved. Things might feel crap right now but they could also be a lot worse. When you focus on abundance and gratitude, you can take stock of the good things going on in your world, and there are undoubtedly a number of them.

Write down absolutely everything good going on in your world at this moment. Are you living in a place that’s peaceful and warm and safe, for the most part? Have you eaten today? Do you have a friend you can trust and confide in? Is there a cup of hot tea within reach? Seriously, write down all the abundance and goodness you’re experiencing, even if it’s the fact that your socks are dry and you don’t currently have gastroenteritis.

4. Recognize that some setbacks can result in a great, alternate path.

I once spent some time talking with an elderly retired fighter pilot who told me about his early days in learning how to fly. It took him longer than average to get his license, which caused him no end of frustration at the time – especially because the delays weren’t through any shortcomings of his own.

He took up flying so he could get licensed as a crop duster. Since he was living in the Midwest with his family, this just made sense at the time. But the day he was supposed to do his first flight test, his instructor took ill. Then he had to be on a waiting list for several months until there was another space available for him to take his next exam.

He was incredibly frustrated at how unfair this was, since he wouldn’t be able to move forward with what he thought would be a great career (plus would have helped his own family’s farm).

So he took up boxing, and became really good at it. This helped to physically work out his frustrations while getting into great shape, and he kept up flying practice until he was able to take his exam.

Well, that extra practice plus boxing experience took him in a direction he didn’t anticipate. He got a perfect score on his flight exam, and his instructor sang his praises to a friend of his in the air force who recruited the young man. Between this gentleman’s flying abilities and fitness from boxing, he quickly climbed the ranks and became a decorated pilot.

He had expected to live a simple, homey life on his family’s farm, and instead found himself with a military career full of adventure and accolades. What had originally been disappointment and setback turned out to be the best blessing of his life.

Take the time to consider that what you think is a curse right now might work out better than you imagined. Magic happens when you allow space for the unexpected to step in.

5. Place your attention on what you can do and achieve in this moment.

This expands upon the pilot story above.

If you’re feeling bummed out because all your dreams and goals seem unattainable or have been sidelined by the unexpected, then take stock of what you can do right now. Right this second.

Do you feel stuck in your current location and feel like you’re going to be trapped there indefinitely because you can’t afford to move? Determine where exactly it is you want to move to and start doing research on it.

Look up jobs and rentals in that area, and think about the kind of space you want to live in. Will the decor be different from what you have now? Then get rid of something you have and replace it with an item that’ll look great in your new home, in that new place.

Start living as though you’re already en route to getting to where you want to be. You want to change careers, but that will require going back to school (which you can’t afford right now)? There’s nothing stopping you from contacting the school, requesting the program’s syllabus, and getting some of those books from the library or online.

Just because you can’t officially start a school program doesn’t mean you can’t start educating yourself this minute. There’s always some action you can take to help propel you forward. It’s just a matter of establishing what you need to create the foundation for what you want to build. Then start laying down the blocks, one by one.

6. Determine other people’s roles in where you are now.

This is very different from blaming other people for your perceived lack of fulfillment. If you find that you’re feeling a great deal of frustration and disappointment because of other people’s actions, needs, expectations, etc., that’s okay. It’s an understandable trap to fall into, and when you’re in the path of progress, there are bound to be other individuals involved.

There’s also a very wide spectrum of other people’s needs and contributions that need to be taken into consideration here. For example, you might feel disappointed and disheartened by life if you were paralyzed as a child because your family’s car was hit by a drunk driver. You never had the chance to do a lot of the stuff you might have wanted to do because of someone else’s irresponsibility.

It’s totally understandable to feel frustrated by that, but it’s also important to realize that in this day and age, there’s very little you can’t accomplish. There are amazing innovations in terms of mobility aids, care techniques, and outreach programs that can help you achieve your goals.

Then of course, there’s the possibility of other people’s demands holding you back from living a life you’d prefer. It’s one thing to have responsibilities like children, and another to be guilted into staying in a place that’s drowning you because your parents want to keep you close to them, or your partner wants to stay in the awful little town you both grew up in.

Take stock of how much you’re doing for others versus how much they’re doing for you. Then take into consideration how much you’re doing for yourself.

If you’re giving a lot more than you’re receiving, that’s a significant imbalance going on. You’re sacrificing your own happiness and fulfillment for the sake of keeping someone else happy, and that’s not okay. You won’t be happy until you change your circumstances, and the only way you can do that is to disappoint others.

Don’t let false sentimentality and niceness get in the way of what you really want to be doing. The same goes for other people’s expectations and demands of you.

Everyone has their own life to live, and while we can walk on adjacent paths with amazing people, those paths will diverge and have their own rocky patches to navigate. If the people in your life are demanding that you walk their path with them while not supporting you on yours, then it’s time to walk away. If you really mean anything to them, they’ll find a way to walk with you.

7. Examine your expectations versus resources.

What do you really want to achieve? And furthermore, what do you feel is stopping you?

If you’re frothing and pacing because you feel like life is unfair and not giving you what you want, then determine exactly what it is that’s stopping you from getting there.

Once you’ve determined your needs, then it’s time to be a bit innovative and daring. For example, we’re lucky nowadays to have crowdfunding platforms like GoFundMe and Indiegogo, etc. but that wasn’t the case in 1987. Back then, a teenager named Mike Hayes put out a plea in his local newspaper for readers to donate just one penny towards his university education.

After all, what was a penny? Chances are most people had at least a few lurking in their couch cushions that they wouldn’t mind parting with. And you know what happened? He received 90,000 of letters, and collected $29,000 towards his education.

Fortune favors the brave, so if you want life to start meeting the expectations you have, then you may have to think outside the box to help get you where you want to be.

8. Do what must be done.

This takes a lot of courage, but you must sit down with yourself and be completely honest about what you really want in life, and what you’ll have to do to make it happen. Then, you’ll need to take the steps – and make the sacrifices – that are required to get you there.

Things like your current career, romantic and family relationships, accumulated belongings… you must be willing to sacrifice what you have now if you truly want to achieve your dreams.

It may sound extreme, but nothing ever comes without a cost. In fact, what holds most people back from their goals, and what causes them the greatest degree of disappointment, is their own reluctance to make the cuts necessary to move forward.

For example, it’s often a case in which someone must leave their current location and move to a completely different place that will allow them the space and resources to grow. In simplest terms, if a tree isn’t thriving in the soil and sun where it’s currently located, it needs to be transplanted into conditions ideal for it.

When it comes down to determining what needs to be done, the average person will fall into one of three categories:

  1. They know what they want but they aren’t prepared or resolved to do the work
  2. They’ve done a fair bit but still expect things to fall into place without sacrifice
  3. Or they have done everything to make it happen but encounter constant setbacks

The first scenario is easy because it’s a question of self-work and taking steps that are necessary. If you aren’t getting what you want, then it’s due to your own lack of initiative and dedication. This can be turned around with a bit of self-discipline and dedication.

In the second situation, you’re already on your way towards getting what you need and want, but may not be fully committed to getting there. Some of the sacrifices you’d have to make may cause suffering to others or might put you in circumstances that are unfamiliar or uncomfortable. Ask yourself whether you’re willing to give up your dreams for the sake of comfort and a lack of confrontation or drama, or if you’re prepared to handle whatever comes up to get you where you want to be.

The third situation is the most difficult, as there isn’t a clear answer for it. We are going through an incredibly difficult time in our species’ development right now, and the ground beneath our feet is changing on a daily basis. It’s hard to navigate constantly shifting sands, especially when the goal posts keep moving, and the routes to get to them keep getting rewritten.

Someone undoubtedly said “May you live in interesting times” a bit too often and now we’re all doing the best we can.

If you’re dealing with situation #3, then at least take heart that there has not been any lack or faltering in what you’ve done that is halting this process. You’ve been putting in the work to get there, but the rest of the world isn’t cooperating.

Whenever I’ve been in a situation like this, the main thing that has kept me going is that there was always a purpose for it. I’ve been in harrowing circumstances that were absolutely excruciating and frustrating at the time, keeping me from my goals and undermining all of my forward momentum. It wasn’t until I was free from the dust clouds and was able to look back with clarity that my perspective shifted.

I was always where I needed to be in that moment, learning what I needed for the next phase. Even when you’re in a seemingly dark, bleak space, know that a door is going to open for you soon.

Until you get to where you want to be, remember that castles are built one stone at a time. Find other, productive things to distract and occupy you while you remain plugging away at the thing you want. Determination is everything, and you will get there.

Still not sure how to turn your life into one that isn’t such a disappointment? Speak to a life coach today who can walk you through the process. Simply click here to connect with one.

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